top of page
Monster Concert
Screenshot 2023-09-20 100520.png

A Grand Time Multiple Piano Extravaganza - Grand Pianos performing at the same time!

The Monster Concert is an exhilarating, challenging, and fulfilling event that provides students with a piano ensemble experience and a sense of camaraderie with others and goes all the way back to 18th-century Leipzig. It gives them a feeling of being part of a project larger than themselves and allows them to feel the power that music has, to create bonds between great numbers of people. Preparing for the concert teaches students the joy of accomplishing their goals and bringing happiness to others through art. We are very grateful to Jacobs Music for providing pianos for this event.

To Participate

Teachers submitting student entries: Members in good standing are eligible to participate or enter their students into the program. Pianists ages 8 and up are welcome. Teachers are also welcome to perform. Each student performer will receive a medal and a certificate of participation. A trophy will be awarded to students who have participated for 5, 7 and 9 years. Teachers will receive a certificate of participation as well as plaques for a 5-year award. Due to the popularity of this event, the students will be accommodated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the spots are filled for each piece, the piece will be closed, so register early!


Student Participants: The Concert is open to pianists ages 8 and up. In order to sign up students to this event, a teacher must be a current member of The Cecilian Music Club in good standing. Each student-performer will receive a medallion and Certificate of Participation. A trophy award will be given to the High School Seniors, and students with 5, 7, 9 -year participation. Teachers are welcome to participate; teachers will receive a Certificate of Participation, a plaque for 5 years and inserts for each of the following years of participation. The Student in the Elementary level is requested to partner with the teacher or advanced student. 

Dates and Deadlines 


Deadline to Register: November 10, 2023, 11:59 PM (late fee applies after this date)


Registration Closes: November 20, 2023, 11:59 PM (no registration after this date)

Rehearsal Date:  Saturday, January 13, 2024 from 2:00 ~ 6:30 PM

Concert Date: Sunday, January 14, at 2:00 PM, 2024

Location: Brookdale Community College Performing Arts Center, Lincroft NJ


Entry fee: There is a non-refundable entry fee of $70 for each student performer. Teachers should collect fees from students and send one check payable to the Cecilian Music Club. Entries must be postmarked by the deadline for paper registration, and must be submitted by midnight of the day of the deadline for online registration. Late fee of $10.00 will be charged per student for late registrations submitted after the deadline. Registration is closed 10 days after the deadline.


Concert tickets: Each ticket costs $20. There will be no admission without a ticket. Performers will receive a ticket for entry to the concert premises as part of their registration. Children under age 8 will not be admitted. No admission without a ticket.

If you have any questions, please email

About Our Conductor: Therese Whelan

Thérèse Whelan has been teaching music for over thirty-five years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance from Emmanuel College in Boston and a Masters degree in Music Education from Montclair State University. She began her music education career in 1969 in Millis, Massachusetts. There she taught general music from kindergarten through eighth grade. In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities as a music teacher she also directed and accompanied local high school performances of Oliver, Brigadoon, Bye, Bye, Birdie, The Fantasticks and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. In 1974 she moved her career to New Jersey where she taught general music classes at the elementary school level. In 1998 she became head of the piano program in the Visual & Performing Arts Academy of Red Bank Regional High School. At the high school level, Mrs. Whelan taught courses in Music History, Music Theory, Music Appreciation and Applied Piano. She was the accompanist for the yearly musical, vocal major performances, Senior Recitals and juries. At Red Bank Regional, Mrs. Whelan accompanied Hello, Dolly, The King and I, No No Nanette, South Pacific, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella. Mrs. Whelan is most proud of her many piano students who have gone on to major in music and are currently teaching, composing, and performing. Currently retired from public school, Mrs. Whelan teaches piano from her private piano studio. She is a member of The Cecilian Music Club and the Shore Music Educators Association. She is also an active musician and accompanist in her church and community. Mrs. Whelan has been the narrator several times for the Cecilian Music Club ``Monster Concert”. This year she is honored to be chosen as the conductor, leading your children and their dedicated and accomplished teachers in our Eighteenth Monster Concert!

Where do Monsters come from?

The "Monster Concert" dates back to Bach, who first wrote a 4-piano concerto in the 1730s, performed at the regular mid-week coffeehouse concerts in Leipzig, which Bach participated in with friends. In 1830, the composer Carl Czerny organized a performance to raise money for victims of a recent flooding of the Danube River. 20 pianists sat at 10 pianos on one stage, led by a conductor through their program of four-hands duet pieces. Since then, Monster Concerts have popped up all over the world, including in the Americas with the work of Eugene List and Louise Moreau Gottschalk.

Our former president, Beth S. Chen, brought this musical tradition to the Cecilian Music Club's annual repertoire, and in 1997, the Club's first Monster Concert was led under the baton of Dr. Stefan Young. Since 1999, Ms. Chen has conducted the performances. In 2004 and 2007, our students got the chance to participate in the Monster Concert of the Shanghai International Children's Cultural and Art Festivals, playing as part of a 100-piano ensemble.

bottom of page